The longer you serve as a Christian leader, typically the less connected you are with unbelievers. That’s one of the dirty little secrets of Christian leadership. We are supposedly on mission to unbelievers, yet our job requirements isolate us in the Christian community. Being a Christian leader requires personal discipline to avoid the trap of spiritual isolation leading to ghetto mentality – trying to create an alternative community to the secular where we live every day.
As leaders, it’s also easy to become locked into a Christian ministry mindset. By this, I mean we naturally think of engaging unbelievers through creating, organizing, and controlling Christian ministries. While many of these are good, they all have a fatal flaw. They depend on unbelievers to engage them – to come to a service, activity, or program to learn about the gospel. Again, while this is a vital and effective model, our definition of cultural impact with the gospel can’t be limited to this singular approach.
In 2019, one of my personal goals is to break out of the Christian subculture, doing a much better job of infiltrating my community with the gospel. My podcast for the first two weeks of 2019 will help you accomplish this same goal.
Some time ago, I shared with some ministry leader friends (all effective, committed leaders) about the important of infiltrating the community with the gospel. One guy agreed with the importance of this concept and said, “Let me tell you about a woman in our church who is a good example.” He then told me a story of a woman who had a burden for unwed mothers. She formed a board of local Christian businessmen, created a Christian ministry entity, raised money, rented a house, took in some women, and now has a thriving ministry.
My response was, “That’s a great story. I’m glad for the work she is doing. But her story isn’t an example of what I’m talking about. In fact, in many ways, it’s the opposite of what I am proposing.” My friend was surprised and intrigued. I hope you are as well.
While it is admirable to create a ministry to reach a group with a need like this, there is another approach to infiltrating the community with the gospel that we seldom promote. Join me on the podcast to learn more about this distinction I am making and what you can do about it.